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Shyvana Build Guide by datnh

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League of Legends Build Guide Author datnh

[S4] Shyvana top

datnh Last updated on December 3, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 4

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 22


Utility: 4

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Some words before we start

Hello, this is my season 4 Shyvana top guide. For people who struggle with the new masteries and playstyle, and players who want to master the dragon lady, or even people who play for fun. Most of it is copied from my old guide for s3. If you feel like I've missed something or you have something to add feel free to do so in the discussion section! <3 My style is the "wall of text" so I've underlined parts of the texts for those of you who don't like reading :)

Why Shyvana?

Shyvana is incredibly fun to play, Has a lot of outplay potential and why wouldn't you want to be a rad dragon? She is one of the best counter-jungling top laners out there, and with the recent changes she is a very good late game pick. She deals Tons of Damage while being tanky. She can initate fights well with her Dragon's Descent, or can split push quickly due to the clear speed of Burnout.

Why not jungle?

Shyvana is a very versatile champion, she has amazing jungling capabilities aswell, In this guide I'll give you a look at her top lane performance instead of focus on jungling. She might be a very fast clear jungler but she's a great duelist making her an excellent solo laner. Korean players play her quite a lot in both solo queue and championship play.

Will she fit in my playstyle?

If you like taking full control of your lane from the beginning or just simply playing passive early then surprise your opponent and crush them into the ground and below, she will. Playing her also rewards good farming. When playing top lane you should always aim for not dying, or if you do die make sure your other lanes gain out of it. (eg. Bot gets turret or your team takes dragon.)

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Pros / Cons


Safe laning phase
Deals hybrid damage
Good initiate
Insane base resistances
Great counter-jungling
Amazing teamfight capabilities

No innate CC
Kited easily
No innate sustain

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Before you jump into the game


If you are looking to just have some fun with the Dragon lady, feel free to skip this part, But if you want to have great games and stomp with her I strongly advise reading this.

To play Shyvana to the best you have to know what are you capable of.

Decision making is more important than anything else, even last hitting. Make sure you know the champion you're playing, learn by practice, trial and error and watching vods. Without knowing your champion you WILL lose your lanes because you don't know when you can be aggressive and when not. Shyvana is a very tanky champ who deals decent damage. However without 1-2 defensive items she's vulnerable.

Let me quote my favourite top laner, Wickd.
"You always need to play like the enemy jungler isn't there. If you don't, you lose the lane"
This is what I follow, after learning my champion of choice, I know when can I go for a dive, and then if the jungler is there I can escape.

Many people struggle with playing when behind

When you fall behind, get ganked, forced out of lane or just fall behind in minions or levels, just aim for survival, don't do anything stupid because you think you can turn it over. If it isn't obvious, don't go aggressive when losing lane. Wait for your jungler and get a kill. If your jungler doesn't come, you have to farm under turret.

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Summoner Spells

The 101 uses of flash, safe laning phase, flash ulti for insane gap closing, repositioning. Must have.

Against heavy CC teams Shyvana struggles hard. You ult in, they CC you,and you're done. With cleanse they absolutely HAVE TO focus you down (this means blowing a lot of their CDs) and then your team is at an advantage, or their adc is on their way to die. Also very useful for escaping ganks without burning (or even taking) your Flash!

If you aren't running cleanse, Ignite is the perfect trading tool/finisher, also useful for denying heavy lifesteal carries.

Exhaust is a very underrated summoner spell. It can easily turn the tides of battle and for Shyvana, it makes up for the lack of cc early game. Take it if your teammates aren't running exhaust.

Good summoner combos:

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Mastery page A: later referred as Anti-AD page. Good sustain, tankiness versus AD tops.
Mastery page B: later referred as Anti-AP page. Versus AP tops, combined with flat AP runes for optimum laning.

Mastery page C: later referred as Offense page. For heavy denying and huge damage early game.

All 3 pages are quite viable, while the first 2 offers you insane tankiness, the third one can be used to surprise enemies with your damage for an early first blood.

Oppression : This is an awesome late game mastery against AD carries you've slowed with your Frozen Mallet or Randuin's Omen.

Perseverance: Absolutely core mastery, since it gives you the sustain equal to having close to 15% life steal in lane when below 50% hp.

Second Wind: Often clutch, since the HP/5 quints.

Legendary Guardian : Tenacity is an amazing stat for shyvana. It reduces all ccs, makes you harder to kite and peel off of the squishies.

Spell Weaving + Blade Weaving : Instantly wins every trade lasting longer than 3 seconds (olaf not included).

Fleet of Foot: Movement speed has always been good, even if it's a small edge on the enemy laner, or you pair it with 3 quintessences, you become a freight train containing destruction that cannot be stopped.

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Recommended runes:


Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration

Viable quintessence choices:


Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Quintessence of Precision

Greater Quintessence of Armor

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  • Dragonborn: One of the reasons why Shyvana is a very strong laner. It gives extra armor and magic resist, starting from level 1. Every time you level up your ultimate, the number increases. When you're in dragon form the passive's bonus is doubled.
  • Twin Bite (Q): Shyvana's burst damage ability. It deals physical damage depending on your current attack damage. It resets your auto attack so it's most effective when used right after an AA. Each time you AA, it's cooldown is reduced by 0.5 seconds which makes attack speed items quite good on her. This ability is also useful when taking down wards as AA+Q-ing wards take all 3 bars of health.
  • Burnout (W): The most powerful ability in my opinion, it gives you insane wave clear, and a movespeed boost which can mean life or death.(both yours and your enemies') Burnout deals Magic damage, and scales off of AD. It's her second main damage source next to her auto attacks, a very good ability for trading in lane and clearing the jungle quickly. Each auto attack extends Burnout's duration by 1 second up to a total time of 7 seconds.
  • Flame Breath (E): Your ranged poking tool in lane. Deals Magic damage, scales AP. It's damage got nerfed but it's still good for starting trades due to the 2% maximum health damage you get from it. Following it up with an AA+Q combo chunks quite a bit of hp on lower levels. The % hp damage allows you to build full tank and still be viable late game.
  • Dragon's Descent (R): Basically this is her teamfight form. It doubles your passive Armor and MR which gives you insane tankiness, it closes a huge gap (most likely between you and an ADC) it's a great initiation tool and it transforms all of your abilities into AoE. It also deals 200-400 Magic damage and scales with AP. Due to this burst it might work as a finisher when tower diving, etc.. It is vital for escaping sticky situations when your Flash is down. In dragon form you always want to use Burnout to chase down the enemy carry, use Flame Breath to hit the most targets possible and use Twin Bite the same way.

Ability Sequence Order

> > >

Max Burnout first, then Flame Breath second for lane poke. The reason you don't max your bite second is the cooldown reduction on E. Take your Flame Breath at level 1 against poke lanes like Kennen and Elise.

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Core Items

The core items for shyvana top are:
Very important item, as Shyvana has no innate cc. This will allow you to stick to your target like glue and never let go. It greatly helps at peeling too since you will slow their divers.

The 20% cooldown reduction is the best stat you get from this item. 400 Health and 55MR are amazing tank stats in addition. The passive is also great.

Easily the best defensive item for bruisers/peelers. It has an amazing passive + CC active.

"AP" Items

Usually for 6th item, either Void Staff for diving, or Liandry's Torment for peeling.

Void Staff's magic shred is a huge boost to your damage output. Since 3 out of 4 abilities deal magic damage, picking up Void Staff will make your damage output reasonably bigger. Both your ultimate and Burnout benefit greatly from it, you will have a much easier time 1vXing and deleting squishies.

Liandry's Torment on the other side gives HP (amazing!), flat magic penetration (not bad),
and a %damage passive which is doubled when the target is slowed, which is why you pick up Frozen Mallet! You do right? This is a bit more expensive than Void Staff. The two items combined with the %dmg from Flame Breath can destroy everything from Zed to Renekton in seconds, and also helps you deal more AoE damage in a teamfight with your Burnout.

Other items:

Zephyr vs Mercury's Treads

I usually take merc treads, if against AP or tanky tops, sometimes even against AD.
If you took ninja tabi and they have a lot of cc, pick up Zephyr.

Blade of the Ruined King vs Ravenous Hydra vs Trinity Force

If you get ahead in lane, get first blood it's a good idea to build snowball items like these. Hydra is good against multiple threat compositions, Blade is for focusing a single target with the active and Tri force is an all-around amazing item on shyvana, and probably the most useful as well, since it gives you amazing turret killing power.

Wit's End

Wit's end's passive applies twice for Twin Bite. Attack speed is great for shyvana, and it gives 50 MR after 3 auto attacks and 1 Q. It's a more offensive item, but it's still viable and could be a great pickup.

Maw of Malmortius

A good item against squishy mages, the shield is great and Hexdrinker is an amazing laning tool. Decide between it and Wit's.

Warmog's Armor

If no one is building Blade of the Ruined King and have no %HP damage on the enemy team, this item will make you god. Otherwise, forget it.

Thornmail + Sunfire Cape

I do not recommend building these against anything else than a 4AD compositon.
Sunfire Cape: The passive is godlike up to the 20th minute mark, then becomes useless.
I always start with Randuin's Omen instead, it's way more gold efficient vs standard compositions.

Thornmail's stats are really lackluster, and the passive barely pays for itself if they do any other damage than physical.

Greater Stealth Totem

The best trinket you can get, I don't really like the way it's used for a vision ward, since they became cheaper and limited to 1/player.


Enchantment: Furor

Pretty straightforward, hit enemy and catch up when they dash/flash away.

Enchantment: Homeguard

This should be self-explanatory

Enchantment: Captain

Although being one of the more expensive enchants, captain on shyvana does pretty good since you're the one who dives, goes in first and your team is going towards you. Also helps with split pushing.

Enchantment: Alacrity

It's a niche enchant as shyvana already has great movespeed, but pairing it with Ghost and MS runes can yield something hilariously overpowered.

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Lane Opponents

Here's a few of the common top laners explained:

Difficulty: 5/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
He is the hardest laner you could face, he has insane trades with true damage and outsustain you aswell. You'll mostly hug the tower and hope for your jungler to come.

Difficulty: 4/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
You can get her very early because she's not that powerful. She still packs quite a punch and true damage really hurts in trades. Poke a lot with your E and bait her stun out.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Offense
Yi is a strong lane opponent due to his Alpha Strike harass and true damage from Wuju Style. With the offensive tree, you outdamage him. You can deny farm from him which will be detrimental for his late game.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Anti-AP
People are afraid of yorick lanes because he just harasses all day long but shyvana can dish out a lot of AoE damage which can quickly get rid of the ghouls. With perseverance you'll have enough sustain to survive all his poke. Play opportunistic and don't take minion damage.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Anti-AP or Offense
I hate this little squirrel because he can just blind you every time you go for cs. A way to beat him is to interrupt his Move Quick and close on him with your Burnout. The initial duration of Burnout lasts longer than Blinding Dart so you can get off an auto or two to extend. The first one to get Frozen Mallet wins the lane.

Difficulty: 4/5
Masteries: Anti-AP
You can destroy elise until she gets her damage items, Mercury's Treads is the core item against elise. You can also build a Spectre's Cowl into Spirit Visage. Don't forget to dodge Cocoons!

Difficulty: 4/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
You will take a lot of harass early, so go towards armor early and wait for him to make a mistake. You can't win when you are both equal. The fact that he has no active ultimate lets you abuse yours when he's weak. If he runs oom it's your time to shine.

Difficulty: 4/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
His burst can quickly take you down if you are not careful. Bait him into using his rage then chase him out of lane. Even a decent Renekton player will know how to hold onto their rage, so you might have a hard time baiting it out. Just make sure you (literally) jump at the chance. Renekton will deny the farm from you, but you can't engage while he has full rage.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
Playing against a good Jax will definitely get you killed or make you play very passive. The magic trick is to bait out his Counter Strike, and then run away from his stun with your Burnout and instantly turn on him. Experienced Jax players will either use counter strike then leap for an instant stun or just never leap until you use your burnout. Harass him if you can, and try not to get stunned.

Difficulty: 2/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
With the new masteries you dumpster Trynda in lane. Start with Doran's Shield and deny 80% of his farm.

Difficulty: 2/5
Masteries: Offense
Deny his farm, don't push and you should be all right. Always go back to lane and deny, never leave him alone. Don't forget to pick up some Tenacity to counter his Wither. Bait wither, make him run oom.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
If you catch him before he hits 6 you've already won. When you are both 6 don't let him stack the bleed on you just quickly poke and run away. Long trades will get you killed. Doran's Shield is one of the best items you can buy against darius.

Difficulty: 3/5
Masteries: Anti-AD
She will try to deny the cs from you. Use your E to get some and don't take free damage from her. You can't really trade her unless she uses one of her cooldowns up. Whenever Riven blows her Broken Wings or Ki Burst just go in, you'll probably win. At level 6, your ultimate is stronger than hers. Abuse this fact and go in if you feel like you have a good chance for an all-in.

Difficulty: 4/5
Masteries: Anti-AP
With Flame Breath you can answer some of his poke, but you should be careful not to get stunned. He'll escape your chase with his Lightning Rush, so don't count on killing him in lane. Mercury's Treads is a solid item choice against kennen.

You shouldn't have problems against other top laners since shyvana is very good at sustained dps and escaping ganks.

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Shyvana is a pusher.

Abuse this fact and shove your lane when your enemy is missing. Don't forget to ward your lane while pushing. A well timed gank can end your life quickly. After shoving you either back to buy, go roam mid, or take some of the enemy jungle or maybe even find the enemy jungler alone and destroy him. Shyvana is good at last hitting since she has a good amount of attack speed and an AA reset on her Twin Bite. You can easily get creeps out of reach using her Flame Breath and clear big waves with Burnout in seconds.


You'll want to pick up 1 extra ward when you are planning to shove. Here is where to ward:

The wards marked with red are the "Selfish Wards". These will guarantee safe laning. When your turret is down it's mandatory to put at least one in one of these places. You can alternatively place the middle one further down the river but if you don't have good map awareness you might miss the enemy jungler walking into the bush and die horribly.

The wards with the blue circle are the "Selfless Wards". These will indicate the position of the enemy jungler to your whole team, but the jungler can slip past when ganking your lane

The purple ward is a midgame ward. You put it in the small circular bush at the baron pit. When your team gets a turret either mid or top lane, this ward will reveal anything trying to cross the river.

Escaping ganks

Important: If the enemy jungler has strong ganks, (lee sin, udyr) make sure you know when and where to place down your trinket ward, or buy a second one at the start.
If you have a ward placed and see the enemy jungler coming in, you are definitely ungankable. It doesn't matter what huge gapcloser the enemy jungler uses you can just always use your Dragon's Descent to get back to safety, or take Cleanse and simply walk away with your burnout on. Make sure to only use your ultimate aggressively if you have Flash available.


First of all let's see why we would counter jungle in the first place.

  • You can get more gold and experience by killing jungle creeps.
  • You can deny your enemy jungler from gold and experience.
  • You can get buffs for yourself and deny the enemy jungler from these buffs.
  • You can gank mid lane really easily from the enemy jungle.
  • You need to buy more wards.
  • You'll be more vulnerable for ganks in the enemy jungle.
  • You need to be able to push (and win) your lane in order to counter jungle.
You can make up for the ward costs by killing the jungle creeps and if you do everything right both the first and second point of the cons won't be valid anymore. If you are not sure, just take a pink ward with you.

Split pushing

She is a strong split pusher because she can get from one lane to the other very quickly. I personally do not advise that you commit to this tactic, but if your team is hopeless you can keep pressure. You can also use Teleport but it's a waste imho, since you have crazy movespeed. Trinity Force is one of the best items for split pushing.

Trading in lane

Open up with your Flame Breath. If it doesn't hit, never go in for the trade, exceptions are: AFK, below 25 points of health, blew all of their cooldowns and yours are all up or you just simply have a significant advantage. If you are kited turn back ASAP so you don't take too much free damage. Use bushes to surprise your opponents and chunk them down.

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In teamfights you have two simple roles. Initiate if you haven't yet and then either Peel or Dive. You can soak up loads of damage and with your items you can cripple your enemies despite having no CC abilities.

Diving is simply using your gap closer and get into the enemy ADC's face and force their team to focus you down.

Peeling is the counter to diving. You "peel" the enemy attackers off of your carry using crowd control or just pure damage. They will thank you later.

When to Peel

  • Your carry is more fed/farmed than theirs.
  • They have a dive comp.
  • You know that your team can't peel for your carry otherwise.
  • They have high burst damage bruisers/melee carries.

When to Dive

  • Their carry is more fed/farmed than yours.
  • They have a poke or passive comp.
  • You know that your support or jungle can peel for your carry.
  • You know that your carry is a safe teamfighter and can take care for themselves without peeling.(rare)

Shyvana is very good at both peeling and diving, making her a great teamfight asset.

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Team composition and synergies

Shyvana is an initiator and tank. She can be built for damage aswell but she doesn't have the tools of an assasin type champion to get away with it. She is very good with AoE mid laners, zoning champs such as Jarvan IV or Rumble. You can run an assasin jungle with a tank support or a tanky/bruiser jungler with her.


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Last words and special thanks

This guide is subject to change, I will keep it updated throughout the season, if you have any ideas, tips or even secrets, feel free to post it in the comment section. Make sure you read (at least a bit of) the guide before you criticise, and thanks for your time!

Some items I don't like but might be useful, depending on playstyle:
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: People take this for sustain. Why not? Health regen is more reliable. If things turn sour you won't be able to life steal effectively while hp regen is always there. If you are confident you can dominate your lane, LS might work well.
Iceborn Gauntlet: The passive is the best thing ever, all stats are useless. Armor is not enough to be considered.
The Black Cleaver: This looks like a neat item for shyvana, it gives hp, armpen and damage. But yet again there are superior offensive items. If you're (god forbid) going for a melee AD carry shyvana take this.
Atma's Impaler: Waste of an item slot in my opinion. You might have a ton of health to begin with but I find that you're better off building something more useful.
greater Mark of armor penetration: Hybrid is better. Your Burnout and Flame Breath deals magic damage.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Hybrid pen reigns supreme over everything.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Could be useful, but I find it a rather jungler-esque stat.

Thanks to:

Jhoijhoi for the great template.
Sebaku for helping with the guide overall.
Laggermeister for his constructive criticism.
Just Me Shyvana [NA] for some points in the playstyle and tips coming from experience.